Sociology | Advanced Topics in Sociology
S660 | 25451 | Pescosolido

Topic:  Medical Sociology II: The Consequences of Illness – Individual
and Societal Responses

This is the second course offered in the department that focuses on
medical sociology.  While the first course covers the social origins
of illness (e.g., social epidemiology), the second course will deal
with issues of the lay response to illness, disease and healing
options (e.g., lay beliefs), the structure and utilization of medical
care advisors (e.g., utilization of formal medical services, the
nature and use of alternative health care systems), the nature of
physician socialization and its impact on health care in general and
for special groups (e.g., women, under-represented groups), the
profession of medicine (its history in the U.S. and other countries,
the health care crisis, the consumer movement), and the health care
system (e.g., the social contract of medicine, the rise of managed
care, health care as a right, ethical issues in treatment).

Like the first course in the sequence, this course focuses on issues
of health, illness and healing as basic social processes that affect
life chances.  A sociological perspective directed at these issues
both provides an insight into these processes but also offers a window
into society as a whole.  As such, issues of social organization,
stigma, structure and agency, socialization, the welfare system,
cultural toolboxes and cultural shifts, and the micro-macro linkages
frame the discussion of the topics, sociological contributions, and
suggestions for sociology’s research agenda in medical sociology over
the next decade.